Seles_Game On cover

Maya has worked incredibly hard to get her scholarship to the elite Academy where only the rich and talented are accepted to become Olympic level champions. All is not well when she finds out what it will take to get ahead in the school. How will she find her feet again after her world comes crashing down? Which of the Reed brothers will rise to the occasion, and which one will break her heart?

Unsurprisingly, our protagonist, and antagonist, are both tennis players. I would expect nothing less from the highly decorated Monica Seles. However, tennis takes a back seat for a fair bit of the book and we explore other themes and elements that make up the lives of the elite few.

There are references to sexting and cyber bullying, though I’m not sure it is taken seriously enough for it to ring true. There were mild consequences and I felt like it was laughed off rather than being dealt with as the serious criminal offence that it is.

That being said there was a suitable amount of time given to the inconsistency of discipline handed out to the affluent students compared to the hard working scholarship students. Money may not buy you happiness, but along with popularity, will get you an extension on an overdue assignment!

This will be a good spring read as there aren’t a whole lot of complicated plot lines and the characters are somewhat predictable. It is enjoyable without being taxing.

The next book Love Match is due in February 2014. I’m looking forward to it.

 

http://www.athletepromotions.com/monica-seles-official-website.php

Paperback, 242 pages

Published June 6th 2013 by Bloomsbury UK



Hearle_Claudette_in_the_shadows-final-cover1Claudette’s family is no stranger to moving. They pick up and leave at the drop of a hat, if necessary. Her and her brother Blake are not really allowed to have friends or get close to anybody. So when Claudette meets the handsome Simon, she begins to challenge her parents.

Soon after meeting Simon, Claudette discovers part of her heritage as she comes into her Demori powers. She falls into another world in which the Malfaerie discover that she exists and her connection to the life force energy that drives them all. The catch is that when Claudette eventually escapes and returns home, she begins to feel a hunger from using her powers and must feed on a life force for herself to heal.

The most intriguing part of the story for me is Claudette’s lack of remorse about her feedings. She tends to bend toward her darker Demon side, unlike her brother and parents. But when she gets herself into trouble, she finds a connection to someone she had always cast aside.

It will be interesting to see just how far into the dark side Claudette will go. She still has a long journey to either choose to do the right thing, or surrender to her hunger. I’m curious to find out which it will be!

Momentum Books

ISBN 9781760080457

Release Date 1 October 2013

Ebook RRP $2.99

 



condie_crossedThis trilogy has been everywhere, both in the blogosphere but also in the real world. It’s received multiple five star ratings, and has amazing reviews all over the Internet! But for some reason, I’m still only on the second book, when the third one came out a while ago. (I guess I’m a little late! Oops!)

The first thing I’m sure most of us say about this book is, look at this beautiful cover! I LOVE white covers; they look so clean and neat, and bright. If you’ve read the first segment in this series, Matched, then you know why each of the colors are different.

Matched, Crossed, and Reached just look FABULOUS on my shelf!

I absolutely adored Matched and while I was more than ecstatic to read Crossed, I was fearful of “second book syndrome”. I know each and every book in this trilogy has a huge number of great reviews, but I always find it creeping around the corner.

The second instalment in this series takes place a few months (weeks?) after Matched ends. Ky has been sent to the Outerlands to work and basically die, while Cassie was sent to a work camp, where she’s currently getting ready to be moved to her next assignment.

Cassia can’t seem to get her mind off Ky and knows she has real feelings for him. She spends a lot of time thinking and planning of a way out of this camp, and all the security that comes with it, to find Ky. But Cassia isn’t so sure of herself any more when Xander comes to visit her before she departs, and even gives her a gift. Xander reminds her of home, her old life, and what her future could be like, if she picked Xander.

But her heart is still aching for Ky…

Cassia sneaks out with a strange girl named Laney; who she doesn’t seem to know much about, but Laney seems to be trustworthy and very skilful. On the other side of the spectrum Ky is escaping his death with two other guys, Vick and a boy who just arrived to the camp.

Will Cassia ever be able to find and catch up to Ky? Will she end up picking Ky or will she decide on a safe and secure like with Xander? And why did Xander sneak Cassia so many blue pills, knowing what they do to someone in the Outerland?

Okay, so let’s get to all the rumours that are being passed around about Crossed. Back when I first started reading reviews on Matched, many people stated in their reviews that the story was very slow, but good. Once I read Matched, I agreed, but I liked the pace. Condie is building a world, and it takes some time to get readers to know and understand how this world works.

So when people were saying that Crossed was slow as well, I didn’t really think much of it. But it’s true. I still really enjoyed Crossed, but I do see what people were talking about. There just wasn’t enough going on in this book for it to take as long as it did. The characters did a lot of reflecting throughout the story, which filled in the time, but I did find myself reading the pages a lot slower, and putting the book down more often than I did the first.

The thing I liked the most about Crossed (and the first book) was the way Condie goes about representing both Ky and Xander. She shows both to be handsome guys, and good in their own different ways. In a lot of YA books that I’ve read with love triangles in them, the authors always seem to focus on one person much more than the other, because they favor them more. But Condie doesn’t do that, she represents them both evenly, which leaves the reader in suspense about who Cassia might pick.

Overall, I really enjoyed Crossed, just in different ways than I did Matched. Crossed did leave the reader with a few unanswered questions, but I can’t judge the book on that, simply because there’s a third book. And hopefully all questioned will be answered then!



Larkin_divaIf you love The Great Gatsby, you’ll want to read the Flappers series.

Joy and tragedy collide in DIVA, the riveting conclusion to the Flappers series, set in the dazzling Roaring Twenties. Parties, bad boys, speakeasies—life in Manhattan has become a woozy blur for Clara Knowles. If Marcus Eastman truly loved her, how could he have fallen for another girl so quickly? Their romance mustn’t have been as magical as Clara thought. And if she has to be unhappy, she’s going to drag everyone else down to the depths of despair right along with her.

Being a Barnard girl is the stuff of Lorraine Dyer’s dreams. Finding out that Marcus is marrying a gold digger who may or may not be named Anastasia? A nightmare. The old Lorraine would have sat by and let the chips fall where they may, but she’s grown up a lot these past few months. She can’t bear to see Marcus lose a chance for true love. But will anyone listen to her?

Now that the charges against her have been dropped, Gloria Carmody is spending the last dizzying days of summer on Long Island, yachting on the sound and palling around with socialites at Forrest Hamilton’s swanky villa. Beneath her smile, though, Gloria’s keeping a secret. One that could have deadly consequences . . .

Hardcover, 320 pages  Published July 10th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

ISBN  0385740417 (ISBN13: 9780385740418)

Clara, Lorraine, Gloria.  We have followed these three girls as they encounter love and loss through their pursuits of happiness. Throughout the series the main focus is on Gloria, a singer who has fallen head over hills for Jerome. Interracial couples in the 1920’s America is frowned upon and their relationship has more downs than ups. Gloria and Jerome share a love for music and it’s music that brings them together. They struggle to overcome the negativity of their friends and families as they strive for happiness together for as long as possible. When trouble knocks on their door, they flee the city. 

Clara and Lorraine are getting mixed up with the wrong guys, alcohol, and the wrong type of business, and they compete with each other over how high up the ladder they can climb. 

Now in the third and final book of the Flappers series we find each of the girls’ in separate living situations, but soon they are all brought together again. There is one last battle to keep Marcus from marrying a girl who is not who she claims to be, although Gloria is involved in more pressing matters with the police and trying to stay out of jail. Clara and Lorraine work closely to learn more about Anastasia and convince Marcus that he’s making the worst decision of his life.

The Flappers series is a hands down entertaining series. It has jaw dropping, shocking moments that you will never see coming. Readers will develop love/hate relationships with the each of the girls, finding them stubborn or selfish to completely relate-able.  You’ll get sucked in and your hearts will ache right along with theirs. I loved the ending, it was so fitting for this series. 

Not all stories can end in Happily Ever After but these girls are willing to fight, to the death to make theirs as close to perfect as they can. 



showalter_zombieglasscoverThe Burn Bright Book Club reviewed Alice in Zombieland back in May.

I was thrilled to pick up the sequel this past week and it jumped to the top of my TBR pile (only because I was feeling impatient and needed a little jolt).

The stories share similarities with the childhood classic, Alice in Wonderland. White Rabbits anyone? And there’re zombies. Stinking, rotting, crazy zombies.

Ali survives the end of book one, and is chomping at the bit to join the slayers in their quest to rid their town of the rambling dead. The stakes sky-rocket when Ali has an odd reaction to the zombie antidote and suddenly there’s a ticking time bomb in her head. Can the slayers help her overcome this turn of events and what the heck is up with having visions with one of the new slayers?

Gena Showalter has done a brilliant job, yet again, of making teens look rough, tough and romantic in their own twisted way. I again enjoyed the almost caustic banter between Ali and Cole, the constant tumultuous roller coaster of Kat and Frost, and the mysterious person Reed is seeing.

I was so wrapped up in reading that I literally lost a day. Intending to just grab a few chapters and the next thing I knew, I was 400 pages in and the sun was going down. Always a sign of an enthralling book!

As with all series I suggest you start with book 1 and get to know the characters, the plot line and become emotionally attached to the struggles that plague Ali and her team mates.

This is not the make-you-lose-your-lunch type zombie book, which suits me just fine. So if you want gore and stomach curdling horror you may need to look elsewhere. If you’re in it for the lighter side of zombie slaying, you will not be disappointed.

See ya later Ali-gator.

http://members.genashowalter.com/

Paperback, 448 pages

Published October 1st 2013 by Harlequin Teen Australia

 

 



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